Date: Aug. 19, 2016
Event: Qualifying for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race (Round 23 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
Pole Winner: Carl Edwards of Joe Gibbs Racing (14.602 seconds at 131.407 mph)
SHR Lineup: Kurt Busch (14th, 14.883 seconds at 128.926 mph)
Kevin Harvick (24th, 15.057 seconds at 127.436 mph)
Tony Stewart (27th, 15.010 seconds at 127.835 mph)
Danica Patrick (29th, 15.032 seconds at 127.648 mph)
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway by setting the 14th-fastest lap in qualifying for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. Busch turned a lap of 14.883 seconds at 128.926 mph on the .533-mile oval in the second round of knockout qualifying.
Qualifying consisted of three rounds. The first was 20 minutes, with every driver on the track vying to set the fastest lap. The 24 fastest drivers from the first round advanced to the second, 10-minute round and the fastest 12 drivers from that session advanced to the final, five-minute round where they battled for the pole. Positions 1-12 were set by speeds in the final round. Positions 13-24 were set by speeds in the second round. The remaining 40-car field was set by speeds posted by those who did not advance past the first round.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Chevrolet SS, qualified 24th with a time of 15.057 seconds at 127.436 mph.
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 27th with a time of 15.010 seconds at 127.835 mph.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 29th with a time of 15.032 seconds at 127.648 mph.
Carl Edwards led the final round of knockout qualifying by taking the pole with a lap of 14.602 seconds at 131.407 mph. It was his 21st career Sprint Cup pole, his second straight at Bristol and his fourth at the Tennessee track. It was also Edward’s fifth Sprint Cup pole this season.
Denny Hamlin will start on the outside of row one after clocking in at 14.625 seconds with a speed of 131.200 mph. Hamlin also set a new track record in the first round of qualifying with a lap of 14.573 seconds at 131.668 mph, breaking his own mark of 14.602 seconds at 131.407 mph set on Aug. 21, 2015.
The 10 other drivers who made it to the final round of qualifying were Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., AJ Allmendinger, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon and Chris Buescher. All are listed in the order they will start the race.
The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race gets underway at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday with live coverage provided by NBCSN.